Biography[ edit ] — The sixth of eight children in a poor family, she began playing piano at the age of three; the first song she learned was "God Be With You,Till We Meet Again.
Her mother, Mary Kate Waymon, was a Methodist minister, and her father, John Divine Waymon, was a handyman who moonlighted as a preacher. Eunice displayed a precocious musical talent at the age of three when she started picking out tunes on the family's piano, and a few years later she was playing piano at her mother's Sunday church services.
Mary Kate worked part time as a housemaid, and when her employers heard Eunice play, they arranged for her to study with pianist Muriel Mazzanovich, who tutored Eunice in the classics, focusing on BachBeethovenBrahmsChopinand Schubert. After graduating at the top of her high school class, Eunice received a grant to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, and applied for enrollment at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
However, Eunice was denied admission at the Curtis Institute under mysterious circumstances, despite what was said to be a stellar audition performance; she would insist that her race was the key reason she was rejected.
Eunice was told she would have to sing as well as play jazz standards and hits Nina simone the day. While she had no experience as a vocalist, Eunice faked it well enough Nina simone get the job, and she adopted the Nina simone name Nina Simone -- Nina from a pet name her boyfriend used, and Simone from the French film star Simone Signoret.
The newly christened Nina Simone was a quick study as a singer, and her unique mixture of jazz, blues, and the classics soon earned her a loyal audience.
Within a few years, Simone was a headliner at nightclubs all along the East Coast, and in she came to the attention of Syd Nathanthe mercurial owner of the influential blues and country label King Records. Nathan offered Simone a contract with his jazz subsidiary, Bethlehem Records, and the two were soon butting heads as the strong-willed Simone insisted on choosing her own material.
Simone won out, and inshe enjoyed a major hit with her interpretation of "I Loves You Porgy" from Porgy and Bess.
The single rose to the Top 20 of the pop charts, but like many of Nathan 's signings, Simone did not see eye to eye with him about business details particularly after she discovered she'd signed away her right to royalties upon receiving her advanceand by she had signed a new deal with Colpix Records.
Simone 's reputation as a powerful live performer had only grown by this time, and her second album for Colpix was the first of many live recordings she would release, Nina Simone at Town Hall. Simone 's live performances gave her more room to show off her classical piano influences, and her albums for Colpix reflected an intelligent taste in standards, pop songs, and supper club blues, and while she didn't enjoy another American hit on the level of "I Loves You Porgy," her recordings of "Trouble in Mind" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" both entered the pop charts as singles.
InSimone left Colpix to sign a new deal with Philips, and the move coincided with a shift in the themes of her music.
While always conscious of the ongoing struggle for civil rights, Simone often avoided explicit political messages in her material; as she later wrote, "How can you take the memory of a man like Medgar Evers and reduce all that he was to three-and-a-half minutes and a simple tune?
Simone also enjoyed a British hit single in with "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," and while the record didn't fare as well in the United States, a year later the Animals would take the song to the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
Inafter recording seven albums for Philips, Simone struck a new deal with RCA Records, and while her first album for her new label, Nina Simone Sings the Blueswas a straightforward collection of blues standards, her subsequent work for RCA found Simone focusing on contemporary pop, rock, and soul material, much of which dealt with topical themes and progressive philosophies 's To Love Somebody featured no fewer than three Bob Dylan tunes.
Simone 's exile was prompted by her increasing disillusionment with American politics, as well as her refusal to pay income taxes as a protest against U. InSimone released her last album for RCA, It Is Finishedand spent the next several years traveling the world and playing occasional concerts; she would not return to the recording studio untilwhen she recorded the album Baltimore at a studio in Belgium for Creed Taylor 's CTI label.
That same year, Simone was arrested and charged for her non-payment of taxes from to It would be another four years until Simone would record again, cutting Fodder on My Wings for a Swiss label in Simone 's autobiography I Put a Spell on You was published inand after a well-received United States concert tour, she was signed by Elektra Records, which released the album A Single Woman in Find Nina Simone bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic - An African-American icon and true diva whose.
She was one of the most extraordinary artists of the twentieth century, an icon of American music. She was the consummate musical storyteller, a griot as she would come to learn, who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, passion, and love through a magnificent body of works.
She earned the moniker ‘High . Nina Simone, who would’ve celebrated her 85th birthday today, was known for using her musical platform to speak out.
“I think women play a major part in opening the doors for better. The latest Tweets from Nina Simone (@NinaSimoneMusic). Official Twitter for the Estate & Legacy of Dr. Nina Simone #ninasimone Pianist, singer, songwriter, activist, icon, mother.
Doctor of Music and Humanities. High Priestess of SoulAccount Status: Verified. Nina Simone was born on February 21, in Tryon, North Carolina, USA as Eunice Kathleen Waymon.
She was married to Andrew Stroud and Donald Ross. She died on April 21, in Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, France. Portrait of Nina Simone in concert in Morlaix, France during Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and arranger.